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Capabilities for all? From capabilities to function, to capabilities to control.

Begon, Jessica (2017) 'Capabilities for all? From capabilities to function, to capabilities to control.', Social theory and practice., 43 (1). pp. 154-179.


The capability approach aims to ensure that all individuals are able to form and pursue their own conception of the good, whilst the state remains neutral between them, and has done much to include oppressed and marginalized groups. Liberal neutrality and social inclusivity are worthy goals, yet I argue that Martha Nussbaum’s influential formulation of the capability approach, at least, cannot meet them. Conceptualizing capabilities as opportunities to perform specific, valuable functionings fails to accommodate those who do not value, or cannot perform, these functionings. I therefore propose that the capability approach be modified, such that capabilities are conceptualized instead as opportunities to exercise control in certain central domains of our life.

Item Type:Article
Full text:(AM) Accepted Manuscript
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Date accepted:28 March 2016
Date deposited:05 October 2018
Date of first online publication:01 January 2017
Date first made open access:No date available

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